Thu. Jul 25th, 2024
alert-–-rwanda-dismisses-idea-of-returning-any-of-britain’s-290m-after-keir-starmer-declares-migrant-deportation-plan-‘dead-and-buried’-despite-signs-it-was-workingAlert – Rwanda dismisses idea of returning any of Britain’s £290m after Keir Starmer declares migrant deportation plan ‘dead and buried’ despite signs it was working

Rwanda’s government has dismissed suggestions it could hand back any of the £290million committed to the now-junked migrant deportation deal with Britain.

The African country’s administration insisted it had ‘fully upheld its side’ of the agreement ‘including with regard to finances’.

In one of his first acts as PM, Sir Keir Starmer branded the UK’s deal with Kigali ‘dead and buried’ as he confirmed he was scrapping the Tory scheme.

This was despite Conservative leader Rishi Sunak having pointed to signs the Rwanda plan was already working as a deterrent.

It had been speculated the new Labour Government could try and recoup some of the millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash already earmarked for Kigali.

But the Rwandan government has now played down the prospect of a refund, despite no migrants ever being deported from the UK to Africa under the scheme. 

A spokesperson said: ‘Rwanda takes note of the intention of the UK Government to terminate the Migration and Economic Development Partnership Agreement, as provided for under the terms of the treaty passed by both our parliaments.

‘This partnership was initiated by the government of the UK in order to address the crisis of irregular migration affecting the UK – a problem of the UK, not Rwanda.

‘Rwanda has fully upheld its side of the agreement, including with regard to finances, and remains committed to finding solutions to the global migration crisis, including providing safety, dignity and opportunity to refugees and migrants who come to our country.’

Labour committed to scrapping the Rwanda scheme in its winning general election manifesto, while the Tories had pledged a ‘regular rhythm of flights every month’ to the African country in their own election offering.

Earlier this year, Mr Sunak said migrants travelling to Ireland after arriving in the UK on small boats was a sign the Rwanda scheme was already working as a deterrent.

His government had refused to say how much more money – on top of £290 million already committed – the UK had agreed to pay Rwanda as part of the deal.

Yvette Cooper, the new Home Secretary, yesterday hinted Labour would recoup some of the taxpayers’ cash that had already been spent on the scheme.

She told LBC radio: ‘We are auditing the whole scheme… It has clearly been a complete con.’

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